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Others Like “Applying Hooke's Law: Make Your Own Spring Scale”

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Science Fair Project Idea
Many things in nature are periodic: the seasons of the year, the phases of the moon, the vibration of a violin string, and the beating of the human heart. In each of these cases, the events occur in repeated cycles, or periods. In this project you will investigate the periodic motion of a spring, using a mini Slinky@reg;. Basic physics will then allow you to determine the Hooke's Law spring constant. Your analysis will also yield the effective mass of the spring, a factor that is important in… Read more
Phys_p064
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
If you have ever been shot with a rubber band then you know it has energy in it, enough energy to smack you in the arm and cause a sting! But just how much energy does a rubber band have? In this experiment you will find out how the stretching of a rubber band affects the amount of energy that springs out of it. Read more
ApMech_p017
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
In physics class, you have probably rolled your eyes at some point after being assigned a "projectile motion" homework problem where you use equations to predict how a ball will move through the air. This experiment will show you just how fun that problem can be by using a real catapult to launch a ball and videotaping it as it flies along its path. Then, you will analyze the video and compare it to what the equations predicted. If you have ever wondered if those equations in your physics… Read more
Phys_p089
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This project requires a basic understanding of algebra, trigonometry (sine and cosine functions), and physics (kinematics—two-dimensional projectile motion), or the willingness to learn about these subjects on your own.
Material Availability This project requires access to a video camera (not included in the cost estimate) and the purchase of a catapult kit. (See the Materials and Equipment list for details.)
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Minor injury possible. Never aim the catapult at anyone, and keep your hands and fingers clear of the moving catapult arm when launching the catapult.
Science Fair Project Idea
Spoiler alert: Your physics textbook might contain an inaccurate equation. Are you shocked? Let us explain — many questions in your physics textbooks are simplifications of how things behave in the real world. For example, in physics textbooks, springs are usually modeled with the equation Force = stiffness x displacement: Equation 1: F is the force in newtons (N) Δx is the spring's displacement from its neutral position in meters (m) k is the spring constant in newtons… Read more
Phys_p090
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites An introductory high school physics course would be helpful (but not required) for this project.
Material Availability You may be able to find some springs at home, for example by disassembling pens or toys. If you cannot find any at home, many online retailers such as and specialty companies will have springs.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever heard that two phone books with the pages interleaved are impossible to pull apart? This might seem crazy, right? It is not that hard to slide a sheet of paper off the top of a stack of paper. How much friction can there really be between sheets of paper? In this experiment, you will use pads of sticky notes instead of phone books. How much weight can they support when you interleave the pages? Do you think you will be able to pull them apart by hand? The results might surprise… Read more
Phys_p103
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision required for testing heavier weights.
Science Fair Project Idea
Are you interested in things like prosthetic limbs and artificial joints that can help people with disease or injury to lead a normal life? Or maybe you're interested in sports medicine or physical therapy? Either way, this project could be a good match for you. Find out how the tension on the knee joint changes as a function of angle by building a simple mechanical model. Read more
HumBio_p006
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites To do this project, you should be handy with basic woodworking tools
Material Availability Specialty item (guitar string tuning mechanism)
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision required (power tools used for assembly)
Science Fair Project Idea
Ever try to tear a telephone book in half? Even though you can easily rip one or a few pages to shreds, the entire phone book has strength in numbers and holds together. This project is an introduction to measuring and comparing the strength of materials. Does spaghetti get extra strength if you bundle it together, or does strength simply increase proportionally with the number of strands? If you are interested in materials testing, get cracking! Read more
MatlSci_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
What makes some objects more streamlined than others? Find out which ordinary objects around your house are made to move smoothly through the water in this easy science fair project. Which objects will produce the most drag when pulled through the water? Read more
Aero_p022
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites You will need access to a swimming pool.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Use caution when working near the swimming pool.
Science Fair Project Idea
Did you know that throwing, kicking, and punting a football all involve the science of projectile motion? A star NFL® quarterback, kicker, and punter each need to have a very good understanding of how a football moves through the air in order to help them win games. In this science project, you will set up a rubber band-powered catapult to represent a field goal kicker, and study how changing the distance from the goalposts affects how hard it is to accurately kick a field goal. Read more
Sports_p059
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires a kit available from the Science Buddies . See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Estimated project time includes shipping.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Never launch projectiles at people, animals, or anything fragile. Be careful not to get your fingers caught in moving parts of the catapult.
Science Fair Project Idea
Is an I-beam as strong as a solid beam of the same size? What if you include weight in the comparison: which beam has the greater strength-to-weight ratio? Would an I-beam be stronger than a solid rectangular beam of the same weight? What about other structural shapes (e.g., T-beams, U-beams)? In this project you can find out by setting up a test stand, putting on your safety goggles and measuring how much stress these building components can handle before they snap. Read more
MatlSci_p011
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible: Wear safety glasses when testing beam capacity. Keep hands and feet clear of the area underneath the weight bucket, which may fall at any time.
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